Friday, August 28, 2009

Recipe Review - 7 Minute Frosting

"No Cook" 7 Minute Frosting

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 unbeaten egg whites
food coloring (optional)

1. Mix sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla and egg whites.
2. Add boiling water.
3. Beat on high til mixture forms peaks (like meringue) approx 5-7 minutes.

I really thought this was going to be the first recipe review that I wouldn't have any complaints about. Unfortunately, that's not exactly the case.

At the last minute on Saturday evening, I decided to make a birthday cake for a family get together - Happy Birthday, Becky & Amy! That morning, I had seen a recipe for a 7 Minute Frosting on America's Test Kitchen. Apparently it's a pretty old recipe, but I'd never heard of it. However, it's a very pretty frosting, and I knew I wanted to try it. The problem is, I've never had a double boiler, and don't even really have the right pots for a makeshift one, and this recipe called for a double boiler.

I searched online, to try to find a recipe that was simpler than the one I'd seen that morning. As luck would have it, I came across this "No Cook" recipe. It was a breeze to make, and really turned out beautifully. If was very white and fluffy looking, and very light tasting.


To make it a little more festive, since it was a birthday cake, I decided to add some yellow gel food coloring. Well, it worked, and the icing took the color really well, but it actually ended up looking like whipped butter. I wish I had gotten a photo of it. It was so funny. It looked like we slathered the cake in Country Crock.

Thankfully, the butter-look didn't phase anyone. Even the frosting-haters of the family, agreed that this frosting was tasty. For the birthday party, I made a Fun-fetti cake and frosted it with the butter-yellow "No Cook" 7 Minute Frosting. And it was delicious.

Late that night, I was still in the baking mood, so I decided to try it again. I made a double batch this time, because I wanted to make a layer cake and use the frosting between the layers. I also mixed it up a little, and used almond extract instead of vanilla. It was a success.

This almond frosting had a very good flavor. I actually preferred it to the vanilla. And let me tell you, this chocolate layer cake turned out to be almost too pretty to eat.

Chocolate Cake w/ No Cook 7 Minute Icing

But as you can see, we really didn't have a problem digging right in. It was heavenly. The almond flavoring added such a nice touch to it. And the texture of this frosting is just nearly perfect.

So, all in all, for a cake that's going to be eaten in one day, this recipe it a complete success. I give it an A+ for same day enjoyment.

The problem comes after the cake sits for a while. I made the chocolate cake late at night; I probably finished it around midnight. The next morning, approximately 12 hours later, this is what we were welcomed with when we got down to the kitchen.

The next day...

As you can see, the layers basically disappeared. I didn't expect the cake to keep it's shape completely, because the frosting was so light, but I never figured something like this would happen. The frosting on the outside was much thicker than the layers, and didn't disappear, but got all foamy. It was so strange. We went ahead and tried a bit, and it still tasted really great. The frosting sort of just absorbed into the cake and made it really moist, and again that almond flavor was really wonderful. But it was still so weird. I can't figure out if it's just this recipe, or if any 7 Minute Frosting will do this. Like I said, this is the first time I'd ever heard of it.

My other idea, is that maybe it's supposed to be refrigerated? I just don't know.

So, in conclusion, this recipe fails in the long run, but only in looks. The flavor is still wonderful, even after the frosting disappears.

Overall, I give it a C, and suggest you consume the frosted cake within 6 hours of preparation.

If any of you make this, or have ever made a traditional 7 Minute Frosting, please let me know if this is the standard, of if I've done something wrong.

As always, if you have any suggestions for recipes you'd like me to review, please leave a comment. Stay tuned!